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Body Language for Security Professionals

A security professional must not only understand how to utilize the various tools of the trade, but such a pro must understand how to communicate verbally in order to effectively control a particular situation. In addition, a security professional must also understand body language that ensures a maintenance of control and authority, even in a challenging situation. A number of body language tactics and strategies need to be understood and utilized by a security professional to maintain control and order. Safe and effective security careers depend on these types of physical tactics.

A growing number of educational courses designed for a security degree are providing at least some training when it comes to appropriate body language for security jobs. These institutions appreciate that body stance, movement and overall language is crucial to the proper performance and pursuit of security of careers.

Eye Contact
Although referencing eye contact as part of the body language employed by a security guard may seem like a cliché and stating the obvious, the fact is that the importance of eye contact simply cannot be underrated. Appropriate eye contact for a security professional is not a constant lock on the eyes of another but something all together more moderate.

When addressing an individual, a security professional maintains consistent eye contact. However, in a demonstration of control over a particular situation, a security pro looks away with deliberation. This serves the purpose of demonstrating to other individuals confidence but also that a particular security personnel officer is well aware of the surroundings and able to take charge of the situation at hand as necessary.

Balanced Positioning of the Body
Security personnel need to avoid looking stiff. Although a solid, erect stance is recommended, the overall presentation must be balanced. The stance is upright, but relaxed.

When a person stands stiffly, a lack of confidence tends to be demonstrated. On the other hand, when a person stands appropriately erect, but relaxed, he or she tends to exude confidence, no matter what might be occurring or about to occur around and about. Through a balanced stance, a person is held in place through the natural pull of gravity and not because of strained muscles.

Feet Firmly Planted
Another piece of body language security personnel need to pay attention to is the manner in which feet are positioned. Feet must be firmly planted.

The reality is that a person who shifts from one leg to another demonstrates unease in many instances. A firmly planted stance demonstrates confidence and authority.

A security professional needs to be conscious of his or her stance and of keeping his or her feet appropriately in place. People naturally and unconsciously tend to start shifting or swaying when they stand for any amount of time. Even though a person my be entirely confident in a particular situation, his or her feet and legs may be sending out another message all together.

Smooth and Fluid Movements
Of course, a person cannot stand like a statue. This is very true for a security guard or professional. When a security pro moves — whether it be walking or merely gesturing with arms and hands — the movements must be smooth and fluid.

Smooth, fluid movements demonstrate control and deliberation. Jerky movements convey a lack of confidence and unease in a particular situation. In addition, jerky movements leave those around a person feeling more uneasy than may be the case, even considering the situation. Jerky movements convey the prospect that a person does not have decent control over his or her self, let alone the situation at hand. A person with movements that are not smooth and fluid oftentimes is deemed unpredictable.

Although a security guard does not want to be perceived as a book that easy to read, he or she definitely does not want to come across as completely unpredictable and unbalanced. Smooth, fluid movements prevent the development of those types of negative connotations.

Open Posture
A security professional needs to maintain an open posture to command attention and control a situation. For example, a security officer should not cross his or her arms and hands in across the stomach or chest area. Although police officers and others sometimes are portrayed in such a position, in fact this is not a commanding posture.

People actually instinctively cross their arms when they are angry or are attempting to protect themselves from some sort of threat. A security pro never wants to convey a sense that he or she is angry with another individual or with a developing situation. Anger sends a message that a person is not necessarily completely in control.

Moreover, a security officer definitely does not want to convey the sense that he or she is worried or feeling threatened. Even if such a professional does feel threatened — which is a reality that comes with the job — he or she cannot let others believed that this emotion is being experienced.

Maintain Personal Space or Zone
A security professional must use his or her body to maintain his or her personal space. This is accomplished by using the different techniques included in this article, particularly using a firm stance.

Hand gestures also aid in delineating a security pro’s personal space — which really must be considered his or her professional space. Simple and yet direct gestures ensure that others do not impose on that professional’s physical space.

Lean Towards Others When Addressing
Body language and the spoken word go hand in hand. When a security pro is called in to address a specific individual, he or she should slightly lean towards that person. A security officer does not want to overdo this regard. However, leaning slightly forward conveys confidence and that the security professional is not at all afraid of the individual being addressed.

Avoid Physical Contact Unless Necessary
Some people naturally like to reach out and physically touch those around them. As a generally rule, a security professional should not engage in this type of gratuitous touching. This type of body language and movement is unhelpful to a security professional, as a general rule. The only time a security professional should make physical contact with another individual is when the absolute need exists to restrain that person.

Touching denotes a familiarity that should not be deemed to exist between a security pro and another individual. A professional physical distance, enhanced through body language, is imperative.

Once a person obtains a security degree and seeks security jobs, the importance of mastering appropriate body language truly is a prime consideration. Security careers advance farther and faster when a person does utilize proper body language in undertaking his or her job.

Check out our Top Online Cyber Security Degree Program Ranking

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Find Your School is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.